• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Footwear for Norte

Elvis

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances April/May 2023
Primitivo Sept/Oct. 2022
Any advice on footwear for Camino Norte in March/ April. Trail runners or boots with ankle support? any brand type. all advice welcome.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Everybody is going to tell you what brand and type of shoe worked for them. They are all correct. The secret to a happy Camino is finding a shoe that fits your foot properly, along with getting used to the idea of buying those ridiculously expensive merino wool socks. Nothing else is more important than finding a shoe you can walk in for six hours a day, day after day, without developing blisters. Brands, types, and styles are all irrelevant, how it fits is paramount. You don't need a boot with ankle support, a big chunk of the Norte Way is on the side of regional roads. This isn't mountaineering, it's a walk in the park on improved trails. Whatever you choose (some wear sandals!) make sure you do some serious walking in them before you go to make sure they won't give you blisters. Some go up a size from their usual shoe size to accommodate foot swelling and a bulkier sock. What do you walk in now? This is a reasonable place to start your search. The important thing to realize is that no specialty footwear is required, it just has to be comfortable and fit you perfectly.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Everybody is going to tell you what brand and type of shoe worked for them. They are all correct. The secret to a happy Camino is finding a shoe that fits your foot properly, along with getting used to the idea of buying those ridiculously expensive merino wool socks. Nothing else is more important than finding a shoe you can walk in for six hours a day, day after day, without developing blisters. Brands, types, and styles are all irrelevant, how it fits is paramount. You don't need a boot with ankle support, a big chunk of the Norte Way is on the side of regional roads. This isn't mountaineering, it's a walk in the park on improved trails. Whatever you choose (some wear sandals!) make sure you do some serious walking in them before you go to make sure they won't give you blisters. Some go up a size from their usual shoe size to accommodate foot swelling and a bulkier sock. What do you walk in now? This is a reasonable place to start your search. The important thing to realize is that no specialty footwear is required, it just has to be comfortable and fit you perfectly.
Good Advice. Thank you.
 
Any advice on footwear for Camino Norte in March/ April. Trail runners or boots with ankle support? any brand type. all advice welcome.
When we walked the Norte recently I wore walking shoes and my wife wore walking boots. Three weeks in the walk she got shin splints and had to change to walking sandles and they worked fine (waterproof socks too).

So, the advice above is correct, just find something that suits you and go with that option.

Buen Camino
 
Everybody is going to tell you what brand and type of shoe worked for them. They are all correct. The secret to a happy Camino is finding a shoe that fits your foot properly, along with getting used to the idea of buying those ridiculously expensive merino wool socks. Nothing else is more important than finding a shoe you can walk in for six hours a day, day after day, without developing blisters. Brands, types, and styles are all irrelevant, how it fits is paramount. You don't need a boot with ankle support, a big chunk of the Norte Way is on the side of regional roads. This isn't mountaineering, it's a walk in the park on improved trails. Whatever you choose (some wear sandals!) make sure you do some serious walking in them before you go to make sure they won't give you blisters. Some go up a size from their usual shoe size to accommodate foot swelling and a bulkier sock. What do you walk in now? This is a reasonable place to start your search. The important thing to realize is that no specialty footwear is required, it just has to be comfortable and fit you perfectly.
I would only add one thing to this, as I totally agree about the shoe/boot comment. I used trail-running socks, NOT wool, and it worked just great for me. So, in addition to finding the shoes that work for you, also pick the socks that work for you...
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
The three times I walked I brought a pair of running shoes with cushy soles and a pair of keen sandals with the covered toe box. I was happy to have both as changing mid day sometimes was as good as a rest for my feet.
 
Any advice on footwear for Camino Norte in March/ April. Trail runners or boots with ankle support? any brand type. all advice welcome.
At the time of year that you are planning to walk the route for the first ten days or so of the Camino is basically a sea of mud. I spent most of the descents for the first week on all fours. You will definitely need to have sturdy waterproof walking shoes or boots.
 
Last edited:
Any advice on footwear for Camino Norte in March/ April. Trail runners or boots with ankle support? any brand type. all advice welcome.
Except for the Frances, that we did 21 years ago, we have done all of our other Camino hikes (Notre, Primitivo, three of the French routes, Porto, etc. ) with trail runners. Currently Altras. Added: If you anticipate days of rain, you can pack waterproof socks. I have a pair of Sealskinz, but I don't remember ever taking them on the Camino.
 
Last edited:
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I did the Norte in April/May 2018.
First 4 days I just had running shoes - not waterproofed. And it rained every day 🤦‍♂️ massive massive blisters.

So I bought waterproofs after that and they saved me any times - lots of rain and mud. However I kept my running shoes, they were lightweight and perfect for dry days.

I'm currently on the Camino Frances and have only had one rain day in 2 weeks, which is making me want to buy another paid or running shoes so I can walk more comfortably here too 😂 because the waterproof shoes do get a bit hot/sweaty at times (but again - they saved me when it rained for 2 hours today)
 
I wore trail runners - no additional ankle support for both Norte/Primitivo routes. I wear non-waterproof because they dry out faster than waterproof. That said - I highly recommend an extra pair of socks or two because there were times I was walking through tall wet grass for many hours and when hand washing socks - they took way longer to dry than overnight due to the cooler temperatures. I needed extra socks so I could change into dry socks mid-day and at the end of the day. Waterproof shoes might have keep my feet dryer for a little bit - but they would have still soaked through in the wet conditions I experienced in late May/June. But again- waterproof shoes would have taken longer to dry. My socks weren't drying fast enough - but my trail runners were fine by morning. Next time I will wear a pair and bring 3 pairs to carry for the Norte. On other routes - 1 pair to carry is fine.

Brand? I love Altra Lone Peaks with Injniji Toe Sock Liners and Merino wool cushioned socks (Injinji or Darn Tough). Never a blister with this combination. Switched to Altra Olympus with same socks and have tiny repeated blisters. Going back to Lone Peaks! But you have to find what works for you.

Oh - and for my evening shoe I would bring either Tevas or Xero Sandals myself. The Xero Sandals are a bit to minimalist for many people - but I tried this this summer on the Camino and really loved them!
 
I agree that there are different kinds of footwear that can work. BUT I just finished Del Norte and while there was A LOT of road walking there was also plenty of walking on dirt and rocky paths at severe inclines. Sometimes wet and muddy. So footwear needs to accommodate differing circumstances. ENJOY!
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
At the time of year that you are planning to walk the route for the first ten days or so of the Camino is basically a sea of mud. I spent most of the descents for the first week on all fours. You will definitely need to have sturdy waterproof walking shoes or boots.
I couldn't agree more. I walked in May and April and experienced a lot of rain and mud. Plus, you don't have to stick to the paths along roads all the time. There are plenty of alternatives ... and some of them are "undeveloped".
 
Footwear is so personal. I wore hiking boots and except for one blister (totally my fault–listen to your feet when they say they are hot) I had no problems. Yes, lots of paved paths along the Norte but also lots of rocky, old Roman roads, stream crossing, steep climbs and descents on rough cow paths and stony trails. What can your ankles handle? For me, the extra support of boots were necessary but not for everyone.
 
Footwear is so personal. I wore hiking boots and except for one blister (totally my fault–listen to your feet when they say they are hot) I had no problems. Yes, lots of paved paths along the Norte but also lots of rocky, old Roman roads, stream crossing, steep climbs and descents on rough cow paths and stony trails. What can your ankles handle? For me, the extra support of boots were necessary but not for everyone.
Thank you all for your input. Much appreciated.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I wore trail runners - no additional ankle support for both Norte/Primitivo routes. I wear non-waterproof because they dry out faster than waterproof. That said - I highly recommend an extra pair of socks or two because there were times I was walking through tall wet grass for many hours and when hand washing socks - they took way longer to dry than overnight due to the cooler temperatures. I needed extra socks so I could change into dry socks mid-day and at the end of the day. Waterproof shoes might have keep my feet dryer for a little bit - but they would have still soaked through in the wet conditions I experienced in late May/June. But again- waterproof shoes would have taken longer to dry. My socks weren't drying fast enough - but my trail runners were fine by morning. Next time I will wear a pair and bring 3 pairs to carry for the Norte. On other routes - 1 pair to carry is fine.

Brand? I love Altra Lone Peaks with Injniji Toe Sock Liners and Merino wool cushioned socks (Injinji or Darn Tough). Never a blister with this combination. Switched to Altra Olympus with same socks and have tiny repeated blisters. Going back to Lone Peaks! But you have to find what works for you.

Oh - and for my evening shoe I would bring either Tevas or Xero Sandals myself. The Xero Sandals are a bit to minimalist for many people - but I tried this this summer on the Camino and really loved them!
Re moist/wet socks - not the original question, but have been mentioned - how about gaiters? To stop your socks getting wet and protect the bottom of your trouser legs...
 
Re moist/wet socks - not the original question, but have been mentioned - how about gaiters? To stop your socks getting wet and protect the bottom of your trouser legs...
I think people either love them or hate them. I love the idea of them but in reality I hate them! But always worth a try - as I said - everyone is different. But in the situation I was describing - even with waterproof shoes and gaiters, I think my socks would have still ended up wet. Would have taken longer to get wet - but in the end the outcome would have been the same based on my past experience. And also as stated - once the insides of waterproof shoes get wet they take longer to dry.
 
I did the Norte in April/May 2018.
First 4 days I just had running shoes - not waterproofed. And it rained every day 🤦‍♂️ massive massive blisters.

So I bought waterproofs after that and they saved me any times - lots of rain and mud. However I kept my running shoes, they were lightweight and perfect for dry days.

I'm currently on the Camino Frances and have only had one rain day in 2 weeks, which is making me want to buy another paid or running shoes so I can walk more comfortably here too 😂 because the waterproof shoes do get a bit hot/sweaty at times (but again - they saved me when it rained for 2 hours today)
Sorry you have had blisters--I had a very bad time with blisters on my first Camino--I was wearing the same boots that I had worn on the John Muir Trail just weeks before we left for that hike. I learned about preventative bandaging--and do a lot of it when hiking. A couple of years later, I changed to the popular trail runners. On the last part of our hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, we anticipated lots of rain, so I have a pair of Sealskinz waterproof socks that I can wear. (They also work with boots when snowcamping, etc.) However, I have never needed to take them on our Camino hikes. Everyone's feet are different and it is sometimes tricky to find what works! I think it's a good idea to shop at places like REI that will allow returns /exchanges within one year.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Most read last week in this forum

As we are avid hikers and walk several miles a day, I have tried various kinds of underwear. I just can't find anything as comfortable and regular old cotton briefs. But, 5 weeks on the Camino...
Hello all! My daughter and I are heading out on the Frances SJPP to SDC on May 19. I'm trying to minimize pack weight & not pack my fears. One of my fears is being cold. Right now our hooded...
Hello all. I’ve got a relatively large shoe size (US14) and I love the Altra Olympus because they’re zero drop, super plush, and have a wide toe box. Problem is they’re sold out EVERYWHERE. What...
Hi everyone, I am trying to find small small internal compression bag organizers for my daypack, I live in Spain and was looking at Decathlon, but can only find the usual non compression...
Hello veteran walkers! What was your preference for sleeping gear when you walked? Did you prefer a light sleeping bag or a liner with a blanket? I'm starting my first Camino (Frances) in late...
Hello all. I can see that there are already some threads on hiking trailers, and I have read them all and can see that there is a resident expert in David! I am trying to choose between these two...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top